I've been primarily a mandolin and guitar player for a while, but recently I've been listening to a ton of your solo stuff as well as Bad Livers and I'm feeling really inspired to pick up the banjo. Any recommendations for books or DVD's that'll help me learn? I mainly want to try Scruggs style type stuff and maybe a bit of clawhammer. My finger style guitar experience (Mississippi John Hurt and Elizabeth Cotten type stuff) is very limited, so right now the banjo seems a bit daunting to me. Think Scruggs style banjo is similar to that kind of stuff at all or is it a totally different beast?
p.s. One of the first concerts I saw was Dave Matthews Band in St. Louis back in 2010. You sat in for a few tunes and the whole thing really blew my mind (I was 13 years old at the time and that show really made me fall in love with live music). I've since seen you with various other projects over the years. Thank you for all the good times and music!
well, the scruggs book is really great. the pete seeger book. there's so much stuff. i'd subscribe to banjo newsletter too. it's different of course. the banjo doesn't have a root really, like where the guitar can have a bass line and so forth. it's all hard. in the words of david grisman "find somebody you dig and study the shit out of them."
Hey Danny - As a clawhammer player who dabbles in scruggs style, it seems like sometimes when I hear you playing you're mixing clawhammer with finger picking. Do you have some clever way you've figured out to do that?
I have been playing banjo a few years just by theory, the methods you show in the instruction videos, making up my own arrangements and not really trying to figure out specifically how anybody else is doing it. I am loving it, keeping myself entirely entertained and amused, but wondering if I am somehow shirking or missing out by not copying any old masters (it just seems impossibly hard to copy other people's style)?
Bless you for being so generous as to answer these questions!